The Ninilchik Wolverines gave the Seldovia Sea Otters something to ponder as they headed out on the long bus ride home Saturday -- what just happened?
The Wolverines swept the girls and boys from Seldovia straight out the door in District 3/2A action as the Ninilchik boys stunned the Sea Otters with a come-from-behind 62-61 victory while the Ninilchik girls mauled the Otters 64-37.
"We played real hard tonight," Ninilchik boys coach Bernie Clark said. "At one point we switched to a defense that looked like a zone but was man-to-man, that was all I did and the boys did the rest."
The Wolverines took an 11-point deficit and turned it into a district win over the Sea Otters, who could not seem to break the smothering Ninilchik press.
Following the scoring capabilities of Steven Miller and Buck Kvasnikoff, the Wolverines came from a 32-21 Seldovia lead with 3 minutes, 39 seconds, left in the second half to take a 33-32 lead with 1:51 remaining in the first half.
"This is the first time in my high school career that we beat (Seldovia)," junior Kvasnikoff said. "I really wanted it and I know that all of my teammates really wanted it."
Kvasnikoff led the Wolverines (10-8) with 23 points, pouring in three 3-point goals and hitting six shots from the floor while Miller added 18 points, going a golden 4-of-4 from the free-throw line while nailing four 3-pointers and one from the floor.
The Sea Otters, who only had five players score, had four players rise into double digits. Tom Bousden led the squad with 15 points while Brian Chartier, Jeremiah Dillon and Nick Oliveira added 12 apiece.
"Buck is the kind of kid that you will find with a basketball in his hand at every opportunity," Clark said. "It's sweet, I tell you, to have someone as dedicated to basketball as Buck is. He tries really hard in the classroom so he can play ball for us and he does what he needs to."
Kvasnikoff and Miller led the charge to victory in the second half, scoring 23 of the Wolverines' 24 second-half points. The final point came from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter as Dave Boyle calmly sank 1-of-2 to pull Ninilchik to a 62-61 lead with three seconds resting on the clock.
"We are hoping to carry (the intensity) into the regions," Kvasnikoff said. "I hope we will get further than the regions this year. Our goal is to go to state. I think we are going to see Seldovia again and they are going to be more prepared for us -- I just hope we are ready."
Ninilchik girls 64, Seldovia 37
The Ninilchik Wolverines girls basketball team had the sweet smell of revenge wafting in their nostrils and did not rest until they hunted down and dominated the Seldovia Sea Otters Saturday afternoon.
The Wolverines, who fell to Seldovia earlier this season, came onto the court looking to accomplish one thing -- to make a statement.
"We made a statement today and I think that statement was clear enough," Ninilchik girls basketball coach Dan Leman said.
It was a statement that Leman and his team expect to revisit in the region tournament where, according to Leman, Ninilchik will probably see Seldovia again.
The Sea Otters clung to a seven-point game as the buzzer sounded at the end of the first half, but Seldovia could not hold on as Ninilchik's Molly Bosick and Whitney Leman led the Wolverines to a dominating victory.
"We just really wanted it," Bosick said. "When they beat us earlier we didn't have Whitney and she really gets our offense flowing."
The Wolverines not only made a scoring statement, but also added in the exclamation with their ability to drive the ball inside to score -- or to get fouled. With less than a minute resting on the clock, the Sea Otters found themselves with only four of their eight players left on the floor due to fouls, and two of those four had only one more foul to give.
"They pretty much just hacked me every time I touched the ball," said Bosick, who hit 11-of-12 free throws on the night. "They just kept fouling us and it came back to hurt them in the end."
It wasn't just Bosick going to the line. As a team, the Wolverines hit 26-of-43 free throws while allowing Seldovia to only shoot 4-of-9 from the line.
The Wolverines (15-2), who had all but three of their players score, followed the scoring lead of Bosick, who had 23 points, while teammate Leman added 15. The Wolverines rounded out the scoring as Amanda Matson added eight points, Jessica Russo added six, Kourtney Hansen and Maria Johnson added three while Kelsey Deiman added one. Brieanna Leman, Jessica Sullivan and Amanda Peterson all saw time on the hardwood but did not score.
"These kids come to practice every day and work hard," coach Leman said. "Unfortunately they don't get to play in every game, but it is important to get them in during a game when you lead like this one."
The Sea Otters followed Jacquelyn Brown with 11 points, while Amellia Dillon added 10 in the losing effort.
"They are a really tough team," Bosick said. "I think we will probably see them in the regions and if we make it to the states we will probably see them there too."
A banner hanging in the Wolverines gym states that a team that trains hard not only becomes hard but becomes hard to beat. Coach Leman agreed.
"Everything we do in practice is related to a game situation," he said. "It carries over to every game we play. Sometimes it is a tough sell to a team, but these girls bought into it and it shows on the court."
WOLVERINES BOYS 62, SEA OTTERS 61
Ninilchik 13 25 12 11 -- 62
Seldovia 23 12 17 9 -- 61
NINILCHIK (62) -- Russo 0 0-0 0, Schollenberg 0 0-0 0, Miller 5 4-4 18, Stradford 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 0-0 2, Boyle 1 1-2 3, Bock 0 0-0 0, Matson 2 0-0 4, Rohr 0 0-0 0, Poindexter 0 0-0 0, Hostetter 3 2-2 8, Kvasnikoff 9 2-7 23. Totals -- 21 9-15 62.
SELDOVIA (61) -- B. Chartier 5 0-0 12, Volstad 0 0-0 0, Giles 0 0-0 0, Pulliam 0 0-0 0, Giles 3 2-2 8, Dillon 6 0-4 12, Oliveira 4 2-2 12, Turner 0 0-0 0, Collier 0 0-0 0, Bousden 7 1-2 15, J. Chartier 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 25 5-10 61.
3-point goals -- Ninilchik 7 (Miller 4, Kvasnikoff 3); Seldovia 6 (B. Chariter 2, Giles 2, Oliveira 2). Total fouls -- Ninilchik 12, Seldovia 14. Fouled out -- none.
WOLVERINES GIRLS 64, SEA OTTERS 37
Ninilchik 13 14 18 19 -- 64
Seldovia 10 10 8 9 -- 37
NINILCHIK (64) -- Hansen 2 0-0 4, W. Leman 4 5-8 15, Russo 3 0-0 6, Moerlien 1 1-2 3, Bosick 6 11-12 23, B. Leman 0 0-0 0, Matson 1 6-9 8, Deirman 0 1-6 1, Peterson 0 0-0 0, Johnson 1 2-6 4, Sullivan 0 0-0 0. Total -- 18 26-43 64.
SELDOVIA (37) -- M. Gruber 1 0-0 3, Brown 5 1-2 11, Suydam 0 0-0 0, Mason 0 0-0 0, A. Gruber 3 1-2 7, Geagel 2 2-2 6, Rithner 0 0-0 0, Mikelson 0 0-2 0, Dillon 5 0-1 10. Totals -- 16 4-9 37.
3-point goals -- Ninilchik 2 (W. Leman); Seldovia 1 (M. Gruber). Total fouls -- Ninilchik 13, Seldovia 20. Fouled out -- Moerlien, Brown, M. Gruber, Geagel, Rithner, Dillon.
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